persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent | \ pər-ˈsi-stənt How to pronounce persistent (audio) , -ˈzi-\

Definition of persistent

1 : existing for a long or longer than usual time or continuously: such as
a : retained beyond the usual period a persistent leaf
b : continuing without change in function or structure persistent gills
c : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent
d : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides
e : remaining infectious for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses
2a : continuing or inclined to persist in a course
b : continuing to exist despite interference or treatment a persistent cough has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

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Other Words from persistent

persistently adverb

Examples of persistent in a Sentence

Contrary to persistent myth, Hoover was an activist. — Steve Forbes, Forbes, 30 June 2008 The high-water mark of such truckling might be the publication of the Cato Institute report "America's Record Trade Deficit: A Symbol of Strength." Freedom had become slavery; persistent deficits had become economic power. — Eric Janszen, Harper's, February 2008 The silence started from your end just about the time you said good-bye to dear St. Elizabeth and it has been constant and persistent ever since. — Archibald Macleish, letter, 11 July 1959 We were nagged by a persistent salesman. He is one of the government's most persistent critics. She has been persistent in pursuing the job. He has been fighting a persistent cold. Flooding has been a persistent problem in the area this year. Persistent rumors that the business is for sale have alarmed the staff.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The reason is deliberate and persistent Democratic obstruction and abuse of Senate rules, so three cheers for Republicans for advancing a modest change in those rules to let President Trump form a government before his first term ends. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Rule to Speed Up Confirmations," 2 Apr. 2019 Nouvel designed a museum that behaves like music, with an underlying logic but a persistent sense of expectation. Julie Lasky, ELLE Decor, "ED First Look: The National Museum of Qatar," 26 Mar. 2019 The recent building boom has also been hampered in many cases by a persistent shortage of workers, which drives up wages and costs. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rising labor costs send the price of house construction skyward," 17 Dec. 2018 The company did not give any information about the game beyond a teaser trailer, but the name would imply either a Fortnite-like battle royale style game or a persistent world. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Here's Everything That Microsoft Announced at E3 2018," 10 June 2018 The Linotte rente has endured five French republics, two world wars and persistent, if unsuccessful, attempts by the French government to get rid of it. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "The Bond That’s Still Paying Interest, 280 Years Later," 6 Jan. 2019 Scientists believe the persistent melting means that by August 2, Kebnekaise's northern peak, made mostly of rock, surpassed the southern as the highest point in Sweden, at 6,879.2 feet. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Sweden's Highest Peak Just Melted Away," 3 Aug. 2018 Doing so can cause side effects like persistent drowsiness, confusion, memory problems, dry mouth, and urinary issues. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What You Need to Know About OTC Sleep Aids, According to Neurologists," 30 Jan. 2019 Another persistent theory: that one of the Hart moms was terminally ill. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 7: 'Stone-Cold Narcissist'," 22 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'persistent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of persistent

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for persistent

Latin persistent-, persistens, present participle of persistere — see persist

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Statistics for persistent

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for persistent

The first known use of persistent was in 1826

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More Definitions for persistent

persistent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of persistent

: continuing to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop
: continuing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time : not stopping or going away

persistent

adjective
per·​sist·​ent | \ pər-ˈsi-stənt How to pronounce persistent (audio) \

Kids Definition of persistent

: continuing to act or exist longer than usual a persistent cold

Other Words from persistent

persistently adverb

persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent | \ -tənt How to pronounce persistent (audio) \

Medical Definition of persistent

1 : existing or continuing for a long time: as
a : effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing mustard gas is persistent
b : degraded only slowly by the environment persistent pesticides
c : remaining infectious for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation persistent viruses
2 : continuing to exist despite interference or treatment a persistent cough has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

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Comments on persistent

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